Master Classes and Short Courses

Master Classes

Masterclasses are a great opportunity to engage with colleagues and expert working in a similar area or to develop new knowledge and skills in a new area of scientific development. They will run on a single the day before the opening ceremony (2 September 2024).

Depending on the class these will involve a workshop and discussion with the opportunities for presentations.

For selected Master and PhD students registered in River Flow 2022 conference, the Master classes are free of charge.

Acceptance to the Master Classes does not take into account whether or not a paper is being presented at River Flow 2022. However,  participation in the Master Class requires registration to the conference. Applications for the Master Classes will be open from April 1 to June 15 2024. Master classes will be offered to a maximum of 8-10 candidates depending on the availability of the coordinators.

Please send your application to  

This needs to contain:

  1. a one page CV
  2. a one page summary of the research
  3. proof of enrolment in a MSc or PhD program (letter from school or supervisor)

Please clearly indicate the class you wish to attend.

The proposed sessions are detailed below.

The use of agent-based models to improve the emergency management of floods

Darren Lumbroso HR Wallingford

The masterclass will look at:

  • The type of approaches that can be used to estimate loss of life and evacuation times for floods (i.e. empirical and agent-based)
  • What is an agent-based model?
  • The use of agent-based model to help to assess loss of life and evacuation times for floods and how these can help to improve emergency planning
  • Development of the agent-based, Life Safety Model
  • Application of the Life Safety Model to cases studies including: Great Nort Sea flood on Canvey Island, UK, 1953; Malpasset Dam failure in France, 1959; Brumadinho tailings dam failure, Brazil, 2019
  • How the Life Safety Model can be used to test interventions that potentially save lives during extreme flood events 

Mechanics of plastic transport in rivers

Mário J. Franca, Karlsruhe Institute of Technology, Germany
Kryss Waldschlager, Wageningen University and Research, The Netherlands
Daniel Valero, Imperial College, London

The fairly recent awareness of the consequences and dimension of plastic pollution in the environment, and the role that rivers play in the global plastic transport cycle, prompted growing interest by the river research community. In the literature and media, we find approaches made on the quantification and interception (clean-up) of plastic fluxes in riverine environment, mainly through empirical and reach-to-catchment scale approaches. However, an accurate theoretical multiscale framework for transport mechanisms of plastics is still lacking, hindering adequate methodologies for its quantification and the development of efficient interception technologies. With this Master Class we invite students investigating (micro- to macro-) plastic transport in rivers, at any scale (turbulent-to-catchment), and with any scientific approach (e.g. field, laboratory, numerical, analytical) and background (e.g. hydraulics, geography, physics, mathematics, geomorphology), to present and discuss their results in an open forum. The research can focus, for example, on physical aspects of transport (and analogies or not with sediment transport), and its interaction with sediments and river morphology. Furthermore, research considering bio-chemical interactions with the environment influencing transport processes or leading to plastic degradation is also welcome. We envisage the sharing of approaches and the discovery of connections and overlaps among the students to contribute to the further development of their research.

River monitoring and sensor technologies

Please note:
In the event the short course on Stream Gauging is finalized the two opportunities will be merged in the short course

Alexandre Hauet, EDF.

Details to follow.

Climate change and adaptation for river management

Dr. Nadir Elagib: institute of Geography, Faculty of Mathematics and Natural Sciences, University of Cologne, Germany.
Dr. Yassin Osman: University of Bolton, School of Engineering

Proposed workshop topics:

  • AR6 and recent climate change adaptation in water resources management
  • Changing regimes and adaptation of data-scarce river basins: Case studies from East Africa
  • Policies and modelling practices for adaption measures in river catchments
  • Hand on experiences on use of computer software to assess changing on hydrological regimes and adaption on river catchments
  • Group Discussion and Feedback/Individual student presentations

Numerical modelling of suspended particles in fluid flow

Nils R Olsen and Elena Pummer, Norwegian University of Science and Technology, NTNU

The masterclass will start with an introduction to OpenFOAM, programming in OpenFOAM and the sediDriftFoam solver. OpenFOAM is the leading open source software on CFD (Computational Fluid Dynamics). The sediDriftFoam solver is based on OpenFOAM and it computes suspended sediment particles in channels or rivers.

After the introduction lectures, the participants will give a presentation of their research. The research can be in any area of sediment transport or suspended particle modelling. Each presentation will be followed by a discussion. The research projects of the participants may also apply computer programs other than OpenFOAM/sediDriftFoam.  

The researchers attending the master class are expected to have some basic knowledge about numerical modelling, CFD and sediment transport.

Natural Flood Management, vegetation, wood, and river restoration

Virginia Ruiz-Villanueva, University of Bern (Switzerland)
Annie Ockelford, University of Liverpool (UK)

The science of Natural Flood Management (NFM) and the so-called working with natural processes to restore ecosystem health and function is rapidly evolving and developing. However, the design and implementation of NFM measures pose several challenges, such as assessing their effectiveness across different spatial scales and for a range of high and low flow discharges. One NFM measure that is gaining attention is the reintroduction of wood, for example, in restoration projects to provide heterogeneity or leaky barriers to slow and retain the flow. However, wood in rivers can pose a risk to infrastructure and locally increase flood hazards. Unlike the flow and sediment regimes, the wood regime is rarely quantified, and many scientific and practical gaps remain.

This Master Class focuses on the recent progress and remaining challenges related to NFM, the role of vegetation and wood in river restoration, and flood management. We invite students working on these aspects at various spatial and temporal scales and applying different approaches (e.g., field, laboratory, numerical, analytical) and background (e.g., hydraulics, geography, physics, mathematics, geomorphology) to present and discuss their results in an open forum to the further development of their research.

Short Courses

Shallow mixing interfaces and their role in controlling flow, mixing and sediment transport at river confluences

The short course will discuss in depth the physics of shallow mixing layers and shallow mixing interfaces and of the related transport processes in both canonical configurations and in natural environments (river confluences) across a wide range of scales. The course will discuss how the structure and spatial development of the mixing interface are affected by density contrast between the incoming flows, channel bathymetry, confluence angle, bed roughness, etc. It will present the state of the art in terms of laboratory, field and numerical studies used to investigate the flow structure and dynamics of such flows. It will show the critical role played by large-scale turbulence in controlling mixing, sediment transport processes and spatial patterns of water quality and biodiversity. The course will emphasize a synergetic approach in which experimental and numerical techniques are jointly used to reveal new knowledge and explain phenomena observed at natural river confluences under a wide range of conditions and scales.  A preliminary list of the main topics covered is given below. The course will also offer the participants the chance to directly interact and exchange research ideas with the lecturers.

The course is co-organized by the IIHR Fluvial Hydraulics Committee (Prof. George Constantinescu, Univ. Iowa, USA) and the IIHR Fluid Mechanics Committee (Prof. Vlad Nikora, Univ. Aberdeen, U.K.).  The theoretical modeling and experimental studies module will be led by Dr. Sebastien Proust (INRAE, France). Prof. Carlo Gualtieri (Univ. Federico II Naples, Italy) will lead the module focusing on field studies of flow, mixing, sediment transport and ecological processes at river confluences. Prof. George Constantinescu will cover eddy-resolving numerical studies of confluent flows in idealized geometries and natural river confluences.

The course dates are 1st and 2nd September 2024. We anticipate about 6 hours of lecture per day with each module covered in about four lecture hours. There is no fee registration to attend the course provided the participant paid the conference registration fee. The participants will need to secure accommodations for the two extra days before the main conference activities start on September 2. Interested participants should contact Prof. George Constantinescu and Prof. Iacopo Carnacina via e-mail. The email should include a one-page CV and a short paragraph explaining the interest of the participant in taking the short course. We encourage the participants to contact us early. Applications will be received until August 23 2024. For any additional questions related to the course please contact Prof. George Constantinescu.

Theoretical and laboratory studies of shallow mixing layers

  • Emergence and fate of the coherent structures in shallow mixing layers
  • Shallow mixing layers over hydraulically smooth versus rough beds
  • Shallow mixing layers in rectangular versus two-stage open channels
  • Shallow mixing layers induced by a lateral change in hydraulic roughness
  • Interplay between flow structures in shallow mixing layers

Field studies of river confluences

  • A review of recent studies across different scales: Hydrodynamics, sediment transport, mixing and ecological issues
  • The effect of density differences at large-size confluences
  • Diffluence-confluence units
  • Three case-case-studies of large-size confluences: Amazon, Yangtze, Yarlung Zangbo Brahmaputra

Numerical simulations

  • Shallow mixing layers and shallow mixing interfaces in constant depth, wide channels: Effects of velocity ratio, confluence angle and channel curvature
  • Flow and mixing processes at natural river confluences with a concordant bed
  • Shallow mixing interfaces with density contrast between the incoming streams in constant depth, wide channels
  • Density contrast effects on flow and mixing at natural river confluences with a concordant bed
  • Flow structure and mixing processes at natural river confluences with a discordant bed

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